Greater Manchester’s Metrolink network is set to be run by a new joint venture partnership starting from this summer up until 2027.
KeolisAmey, a partnership between transport operator Keolis and
infrastructure specialist Amey – the same team in charge of London’s DLR
– will assume responsibility for the service for the next 10 years when the current RATP Dev contracts end in July this year.
Keolis is 70% owned by SNCF – France’s state-owned railway operator –
and 30% owned by Canadian pension fund, Caisse de depot et de placement
Tony Lloyd, interim mayor of Greater Manchester, said that the
leaders judged KeolisAmey on its plans for Metrolink, which include
improved reliability and customer services, creating hundreds of new
jobs and sourcing contracts from local suppliers.
“It is vital that our transport infrastructure connects and supports
the new homes and jobs we need, helps the local economy to flourish and
ensures residents can contribute to and benefit from our shared
prosperity – and that is precisely what this new contract seeks to
achieve,” Lloyd said.
“It is an ambitious approach, with a big focus on the customer and the community.”
Key features of the contract include a major focus on improving
Metrolink’s operational reliability, customer service and security, as
KeolisAmey has promised to provide an increased staff presence on the
network, particularly in the evening and at weekends.
The JV hopes to create over 300 new jobs as a result of the contract
and have committed to sourcing at least 40% of their supplier contracts
from within 25 miles of the Greater Manchester area.
Cllr Andrew Fender,
chair of the TfGM Committee, said that the appointment “firmly
reinforces” TfGM’s commitment to delivering the best for passengers and
realising the full potential and benefits of the growing the city’s tram
“After investing so heavily in transforming the infrastructure, this
was always going to be a pivotal appointment without compromise,” Cllr
Fender said. “What we have here is a long-term, affordable commitment to
providing a world-class service.”
The venture marks expansion for KeolisAmey, which currently operates
the capital’s DLR service. The service currently caters for over 117
million journeys a year.
Speaking on behalf of the JV, Keolis UK CEO Alistair Gordon praised
Metrolink, arguing that it has made a “huge contribution” to Greater
Manchester’s economic growth and will continue to do so in the future.
“KeolisAmey represents a proven combination of operational and
technical excellence, which has succeeded in raising the already very
high standards of punctuality and customer service on the DLR,” Gordon
“We’re confident that we can bring the same success to Metrolink,
delivering the highest levels of performance and customer satisfaction
for the benefit of Greater Manchester’s travelling public.”
The appointment comes at an exciting time for Metrolink as 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the tram network, now the largest of its kind in the country. The year will also see the completion of its Second City Crossing, which will allow for more frequent services and the extension of Manchester Airport services to Deansgate-Castlefield.
Last week enabling works began on a brand new Metrolink line to Trafford Park which is expected to be operational by 2020/21.